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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Bilge pumps, water in the boat and you.
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Thread: Bilge pumps, water in the boat and you. Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-23-2007 01:29 PM
Idiens A wet'n'dry vacuum cleaner is a great way to get rid of those last drops.
09-23-2007 12:37 PM
sailingdog Yes, but a little water in the bilge, particularly salt water, helps lead to corrosion, mold, mildew, and a whole lot of other problems... so why would you want to deal with those when you don't have to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by buddabelly View Post
It's a boat! If there's a little water in the bilge so what? That's what the bilge pump is for. I have a little water in my bilge, but not enough to to even pump out. If I did it would fill the hose and when i turned off the pump it would flow back into the bilge. You guys act like your boat going to sink if you have any water at all in the bilge.
09-22-2007 12:37 AM
SimonV
Quote:
Originally Posted by buddabelly View Post
It's a boat! If there's a little water in the bilge so what? That's what the bilge pump is for. I have a little water in my bilge, but not enough to to even pump out. If I did it would fill the hose and when i turned off the pump it would flow back into the bilge. You guys act like your boat going to sink if you have any water at all in the bilge.
When heeled the water is no longer in the bilge but is under the seat lockers, you do need to read the whole thread.
09-21-2007 02:04 PM
buddabelly
So what if there's a little water in the bilge

It's a boat! If there's a little water in the bilge so what? That's what the bilge pump is for. I have a little water in my bilge, but not enough to to even pump out. If I did it would fill the hose and when i turned off the pump it would flow back into the bilge. You guys act like your boat going to sink if you have any water at all in the bilge.
09-21-2007 10:54 AM
Joel73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
Joel, if you ask me if it is the best solution, it is not. It is the best for me and my boat and its purposes.

On my boat I wanted the least amount of hull possible to lower drag, so that is why I use this method.

Since my boat heels a lot, and is quite beamy, having the thru hull on the upper part of the hull was not necessary..all mine are either at the transom, outside the water or I use the sink thru hulls.

I am very happy with it, as it serves MY NEEDS well. You need a good amount of tube so that the drain of the sink does not accidentally drain into the pump.

Here is a small diagram of mine. Note the lower you install the non-return valve, the less water will backflow after the bilge pump stops, and the more stays in the column between the loop and the non return, making hose priming faster.

Thanks for the diagram... very helpful. I'm not sure i could use this method though because of where my bilge is in relation to the galley sink. There is not much of a path for piping in between the two. I'm thinking that maybe sharing the throughull for the manual pump may be the best route. That way i can follow parallel w/ the manual line and put the Y after the manual pump. I'll have to investigate more once i get to the boat this evening. I hope to have a plan and finish installation by Monday. Wish me luck!
09-20-2007 02:40 AM
Valiente
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
Relying on submerged batteries to work is a dicey proposition. I've seen 220 volts switches operating just fine under water, but that's a long way from saying that I'd rely on it happening. I profess some curiosity as to why more batteries are not bilge mounted in sealed boxes vented to atmosphere on deck. That would seem to solve all issues.

A note on limber holes. Aside from their propensity to plug with whatever debri is present they are usually too small to be truly effective and larger ones should be doubled to either side of the floor. A case can be made for not drilling limber holes, confining the water to where it's at, and pumping it from there. A 12volt pump mounted on a pole with alligator clips on the wiring ends makes a good portable pump..
I have collision bulkheads with limber holes (steel framing). As water has no place in the bilges of a steel boat, there is a single very large and deep bilge aft of the engine. Down there works a Rule 3700 pump, a big bugger that removes the leakage from the stuffing box and any burps from the syphon break in the exhaust loop.

Before we go, I will install the following:

plugs for the limber holes to make the compartment truly watertight when under way.

A largish pump that exits via the sink very much like Alex's set up for the saloon/galley area. There is a stainless "pot" set into the keel that will do nicely for a mounting spot.

A head sump for the shower. This will have a small pump exiting into the head sink drain, but will be switchable with a manual, strum-box type pick-up teed into the Henderson pump on the head. Basically, the last five cm. will be slurped into the toilet and then out. This means the electric pump only deals with whatever happens during a shower to fill the sump, and doesn't pick up "residue".

I have a large capacity Patay manual diaphragm pump that I am going to mount under the pilothouse floor lending directly into the main bilge. Here's a picture (they are really decent manual pumps with a hell of a lot of lift):


Finally, I will put a diverter valve on my sea water intake hose (a mere 3/4", I think), so I can use the engine itself to help get water out until (or if) I can solve the problem. A cheap filter on the end of this should keep the impeller reasonably safe, and the raw water circuit is pretty straightforward, but frankly, if we are sinking, that is the least of my worries.

My old boat has a tiny (five litres?) sump forward of the mast that can fill with rain water if I don't drain it. I have rigged a diverter that uses garden hose teed into the Whale foot pump in the sink to get this out of the boat. Other than that, I have a Whale Gusher manual pump in the cockpit that serves the shallow aft bilge forward of the engine. It's getting tired and is probably due for replacement.
09-20-2007 01:18 AM
sailingdog Very true...and even a small hole is going to overwhelm most bilge pumps. Stopping or drastically reducing the inflow, as much as possible is definitely the first priority. If that isn't possible...all the pumps are going to do is let you sit on the boat a bit longer...then it'll sink.
09-20-2007 01:14 AM
sailaway21 Relying on submerged batteries to work is a dicey proposition. I've seen 220 volts switches operating just fine under water, but that's a long way from saying that I'd rely on it happening. I profess some curiosity as to why more batteries are not bilge mounted in sealed boxes vented to atmosphere on deck. That would seem to solve all issues.

A note on limber holes. Aside from their propensity to plug with whatever debri is present they are usually too small to be truly effective and larger ones should be doubled to either side of the floor. A case can be made for not drilling limber holes, confining the water to where it's at, and pumping it from there. A 12volt pump mounted on a pole with alligator clips on the wiring ends makes a good portable pump.

As mentioned earlier, stopping the water ingress is far more important than pumping. Keeping even with the flow merely delays the inevitable-when the battery or arms die. Given limited resources, I'd tolerate bilges awash but stable sooner than just keeping up with the deluge.
09-20-2007 12:25 AM
SEMIJim Thanks for the history lesson, Robert. Interesting. One learns something new every day .

Jim
09-19-2007 05:43 PM
Tartan34C
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post
I would think the wood being continually exposed to high moisture would trump any benefits to be realized from the salt acting as a preservative. We are talking wood, here, not food .

Besides: Even if it's somehow "good" for wood, it's certainly no good for metal, fiberglass, and just about anything else.

Btw: I'm in freshwater.

Jim
Jim,
At one time it was common in some parts of the world to have salt stops between the frames just under the deck on wood boats. These were loaded with rock salt. Any fresh water that got past the deck washed out some salt on its trip to the bilge. This kept all the wood below deck highly salted and pickled. I was Sailing Master on a British West Country Ketch and she was well over 100 years old when I joined her. All the wood in the bilge was pickled and hard as nails because she was so salted. I wouldn’t do this today because modern stainless is not as resistant to salt as the old puddle iron used in the really old sailing ships.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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